Queen Bee’s Injured Wing

beewingI may have an injured wing but I’m still knitting!

My right shoulder has been hurting for a while now. I have done everything I know to help it but when I can’t put on a shirt/jacket/coat without a problem and I can’t take off my bra without pain, that’s the last straw. Thursday after work I went to a massage therapist for a deep tissue massage and it has helped. I have some bruising … I asked her to use the full force of her skills against the knots in my shoulder, arm, and anything else that was “tight”. So, this week I am recovering and working on stretching the muscles and opening my chest muscles. Good news is that I can put on my deodorant but I have a long way to go.

I’m working on a couple of projects. Sample socks for the adult education class that I am teaching this spring. The class is “Socks 101”. We’ll be knitting our first socks in a worsted weight yarn. Preparing to move to smaller needles and finer yarn. I’m knitting my samples in Plymouth Encore Worsted in a very pale yellow. Light yarn reveals the stitch details for my students.

IMG_2447I have nearly finished a 1898 Hat for my dear husband and valentine. I’m knitting it in Malabrigo Rios in the Piedras colorway. It will match his scarf that I made last year. He works outside (in Maine, in the winter, in all kinds of weather) and the doubled garter brim of this hat ought to keep his ears warm! This yarn is absolutely amazing and I hope he’ll love it as much as I love him. He takes such good  care of me. I can’t imagine life without him.

IMG_2388I have a scarf on the needles, too. I’ve been wanting to knit the Zick Zack Scarf for a long time. We have a sample in the shop that I have always liked and chose to do it in the “original” colorway. I’ve gotten half-way through the project and find it monotonous at best. The pattern is the same row throughout and it’s even repeated across the rows. But the color changes in the Lang Mille Colori Baby yarn is exquisite and I love the way it looks. I’ll keep plugging because it’s really bee-utiful.

I finished one of the pair of my Forget Not Mitts. This is a kit put out by the Alpaca Yarn Company. I chose a kit with a kiwi green and a variegated purple/pink/green. I love the colors and the yarn is really nice work with but there isn’t enough contrast between the two yarn colors and as a result, the argyle pattern on the front of the mitt isn’t particularly clear. I love the broken rib and the 1×1 vertical stripe but I am bummed about the argyle. Oh well. The second one won’t take too long to finish and they’ll keep my hands or someone else’s warm in the spring or fall.

I have been plugging along on my Camden Hills Poncho and if I was to sit and focus on it for one day, I’d have it finished. I’m working on the back of the poncho and am nearly to the shoulder decreases and neck. I’ll get it done but have to finish hubby’s hat first … Valentine’s Day is the day after tomorrow.

I bought all the yarn for a fair isle yoked cardigan. I’ll be knitting my Ellen Cardigan in Berroco’s Ultra Alpaca. The main color will be navy blue. I’ll write more about it later. I have also lined up a couple of other sweaters. A green wool using Ella Rae Classic Wool for my husband and something wonderful for me in Malabrigo’s Rios. I am thinking a boxy pullover for this one. More about each of these as I get the first projects finished up!

Details of all of these projects and more are available on my Ravelry project pages. My Ravelry name is Lindar.

Gone Knitting.

1898 Hat – A different construction

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1898 Hat in Cascade Eco Duo

The 1898 Hat by Kristine Byrnes is a free pattern on Ravelry. We sell a lot of yarn for them at my LYS, Yardgoods Center in Waterville, Maine. It may help that we have a great sample, in hat and headband form, right near the cash register!

I’ve been in Maine now for three winters. Winters are cold here. Hats are a must for my husband, in particular, because he has no hair. I almost always wear a coat with a hood which is enough for me but I have been known to wear a hat, too. All of this is to say that I am shocked that I haven’t knitted this hat before now.

A few weeks ago, a woman came into the shop when I was working and she wanted to have someone knit a 1898 hat for her out of some lovely Cascade Eco Duo alpaca yarn that she had bought. I’ve never seen this hat in alpaca before. I offered to knit it for her. When I called her to have her come pick it up, she asked me to make another in Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride.

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1898 Hat in Lamb’s Pride Worsted

Both hats are wonderful. The alpaca was so soft and the Lamb’s Pride Worsted is so squishy. AND the knit was fun for me, too!

IMG_2313The headband is knit flat in garter stitch with increases for the ear flaps. It has a provisional cast on – I used a crochet cast on. It’s knit in garter stitch on either side of three slipped stitches on the wrong side (they’re knit on the right side) which makes it fold in half to make the headband double thickness and really, really warm! You graft the ends of the headband together with Kitchener Stitch (if you do it properly it’s completely invisible!) and then pick up the stitches from both sides of the headband to make the rest of the hat in the round like any “normal” hat.

One hank/skein/ball of worsted weight yarn worked for each hat. I KNOW my sweet hubby needs one of these hats. He works outside. In Maine. In the winter. It’s really, really cold. He has no hair. Did I mention that he has no hair?

Gone Knitting!

 

 

Power-less

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A BIG wind came through Maine and New England last weekend. Some places reported 75 mph wind gusts. We didn’t have nearly that type of wind but we did experience 20+ mph sustained winds from directly across the lake. Wind and rain belted our house!

If you haven’t heard, there were half a million homes in Maine without power following the storm. Ours was one of them. Thankfully, we have a generator that we can pull out of the garage and plug into the house. And, thankfully, we needed to take my little dog to my brother in Massachusetts to have his teeth cleaned … so we missed two and a half days of being without power.  Thankfully, it hasn’t been cold for all those in the state who don’t have generators! Thankfully, most of the state has been restored. We are still powerless.

This afternoon, our internet came back on. Yippee! This is progress. My darling husband has gone out for more gasoline for the generator. Central Maine Power had said that we’d have power restored last night by 10pm. They’re now saying 8pm tonight. I’m hoping they’re right! We’ve been lucky and I’m so grateful that I have had water, television and lights.

And I have yarn! Gone knitting!

 

A Return to Camp and Belonging

Nametags for the 50+ Campers Returning to Camp

Back in July 1972 my parents sent me to Maine to a sleep-away girls camp called Medokawanda. I had no way to know how much I would grow to love this camp and the people associated with it over the next four summers. It doesn’t hurt that I happened to meet my future husband there. (Bonus!)

Zoom forward 45 years to this summer, 2017. My husband and I returned to camp a few weeks ago for Reunion weekend. None of my cabin mates attended but I loved being there. I loved meeting new friends and getting to know other campers that I didn’t know well. It was wonderful.

Walking up the hill at Senior Camp (now the Retreat Center)

The camp is now owned by my first year counselor and her husband, and it is thriving. Medokawanda is now a family camp – take your family there. I guarantee you’ll never regret it! Check it out … Medomak Family Camp welcomes twelve (and only twelve) families for each session.

Medomak “Junior” boys camp is now a camp for inner-city youth. The “Senior” boys camp is now the Retreat Center hosting several retreats during the summer including a conductors retreat, a yoga retreat and a fiber retreat. That is where we held the reunion.

Lovely, simple cabins have been constructed all around the camp and they’re simple but comfortable. When I was at camp we had indoor toilets but showered only once a week (on Sunday). Now there is “complete” indoor plumbing in the cabins. Sheets, blankets and towels are provided.

Half of our cabin … two beds, rockers, dressers, full bath. Totally comfortable.

The food in the old dining hall is still amazing! Look what we were served on Sunday morning with our eggs and fruit, etc! (Family camp has its own dining hall with equally wonderful food! Much of the herbs are grown on site and there are cows on the hill who provide wonderful fresh milk and from which cheese is made … yummy cheese!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls – fresh out of the oven!

On Saturday afternoon, we all met at the cove for the traditional “Loon-athon event. It was a chance to revisit the beautiful lake that we swam in a water-skied on. A time for fellowship on the water. And an excellent photo op!

Loon-athon

Group Photo

My favorite traditions were always campfire on Saturday night and chapel Sunday morning. After reunion, they still are my favorite. Campfire was wonderful. Songs, the requisite laugh-out-loud skit and, of course, the campfire.

Synchronized Swimming … the ski

Lighting the Campfire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the path to chapel

Chapel was moving and more spiritual that any “real” church that I have ever walked into. The tradition of camp is strong and lives on. The whispering pine tress still remind me of the wonder of nature’s creation. It reminds me that we are here for a short while and must act as caretakers of our world so that generations after us can enjoy the same blessings and beauty. I left chapel feeling grounded and refreshed.

Sitting on the porch with my knitting after chapel was lovely.

I leave this post with a picture of the place we used to have campfire. Under the Old Oak.

A few years ago we went to visit camp and found that the Old Oak was gone. I cried. So many summer evenings were spent there and I felt like I belonged and was accepted for myself. Today, there are new sprouts growing up out of the trunk of the Old Oak. A rebirth for the Old Oak, Medomak and Medokawanda, and for me and my camp friends. It may be 45 years after my first year at camp, but I feel like I am building a new life with a new husband and a new home … Post child-rearing, having mourned my first marriage and the death of my mother. I am happier today than I have been in years and for that I am grateful. The return to camp helped me to see that the past there was so special and that I can take those days and that feeling of being so blessed … it’s all a conscious effort to be happy. Today.

“If there were witchcraft I’d make two wishes, a winding road that beacons me to roam … and then I’d wish for a blazing campfire to welcome me when I’m returning home. Memories that linger …  Medokawanda of you.”

Gone knitting.

 

 

 

Thankful for Family Visits

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This Thanksgiving was spent with a full heart and a full house! We travelled to my brother and sister-in-law’s home in Marblehead, Massachusetts where we were joined by nephews and dogs and two of my three kids, one fiancé, and my grand-dog Willow. What a wonderful time! While the picture above isn’t the most flattering of this Queen Bee, it’s a good summary of how I feel when I’m with my kids and my extended family.

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This is Ruby. She is a nine-month old Leonberger and she is HUGE! She is also about as sweet as can be. Ruby didn’t quite know what to think about my little dogs – she kept wanting to use her “hands” on them … and one swipe would have sent the little dogs flying! 

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Marblehead, MA is a scenic and historic little town. This is from the top of the hill overlooking the cemetery and the harbor. We took the dogs for a walk before we went out on the boat for a tour of the harbor – and it was cold!

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Marblehead is full of sights – this is a bunch of big sailboats in dry dock … the harbor was empty of boats with the exception of the working boats – those that are still working even in the colder winter months.

From Marblehead we kept heading south to Washington, DC where we were able to see two more of our kids and a boyfriend as well as friends from our beloved summer camp and a friend of mine from high school. Forty years passes without a thought and it is so much fun to reconnect. We shared some wonderful food and an adult beverage or two and filled our hearts with time with our children. We are so proud that we have five children who are living their dreams.

While there, this happened…

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We had a great walk by the Mall and visited the Museum of Art (East). They’re already building the stage for the inauguration of our next president in front of the Capitol building and the new wing of the art museum was beautiful. I am still shocked that all the museums are free. We attended the production of Carousel on Tuesday night before heading toward home on Wednesday. It was fantastic! If you’re in the area, get a ticket. We loved seeing it and I still pinch myself that my kid is making a living doing what she wanted to do since she was three.

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So, all of this has nothing to do with knitting until this point, right? Right! But here’s the clincher – I finished and gifted a sweater for my eldest daughter, the actor. It’s a birthday gift (she was born in August) … and it fits! Perfectly!

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This was a wonderful sweater to knit and I loved the pattern that she chose (I let her into my Ravelry queue). The sweater is I Heart Aran by Tanis Fiber Arts. Here is a link to my project page about this beauty! I hope she wears it and knows that every stitch was knit with lots of love.

Check me out on Facebook, Ravelry (Lindar) and Instagram @QueenBeeKnits!

Gone knitting.

 

Waiting …

I’ve not had all three of my kids in my house since I got divorced. It’s been a bit of an adjustment for all of us. And I’m so excited that I’m going to have all three of them (and my grand-dog) for two nights and almost two days.

I won’t be knitting … for now I’m simply waiting for their arrival!

Summer on Messalonskee

Summer has arrived. It was cool enough to have the wood stove on this morning but now, five hours later, it’s summer in Maine.

It’s been a busy, productive day here. New feet are on dining “room” chairs, the downstairs is vacuumed and two of the three upstairs bedrooms are clean with beds made. We still have to put back all of “Grandma’s” rugs and put the furniture back, but that’s easy enough.

With that, I’m going to finish up and get to my knitting!